NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson, whose real-life experience as an African-American “human computer” was depicted in the 2016 movie “Hidden Figures,” is among the first three historical figures to be honored in Barbie’s new “Inspiring Women” doll series.
Johnson, age 99, worked closely with Barbie designer Kelley Lindberg to ensure the complete authenticity of her doll. The Barbie Inspiring Women Katherine Johnson includes her glasses, NASA badge, earrings and necklace.
Barbie is also introducing dolls modeled after Amelia Earhart, the first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean, and artist Frida Kahlo, whose portraits and works were inspired by the people and artifacts of Mexico.
To mark International Women’s Day on March 8, Mattel commissioned a survey of 8,000 mothers with daughters aged 10 or younger, and found that 81 percent of them worried about the types of role models their children were exposed to.
“As a brand that inspires the limitless potential in girls, Barbie will be honoring its largest line up of role models timed to International Women’s Day, because we know that you can’t be what you can’t see,” Lisa McKnight, the senior vice president and general manager of Barbie, said in a press release. “Girls have always been able to play out different roles and careers with Barbie and we are thrilled to shine a light on real-life role models to remind them that they can be anything.”